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Born: 1809, Hamburg
Died: 1847, Leipzig
"There is so much talk about music, and yet so little is said. For my part, I believe that words do not suffice for such a purpose..."
Mendelssohn came from a famous family - his grandfather Moses was a preeminent philosopher - and young Felix wrote some of his greatest works - the Octet, the Midsummer Night's Dream Overture - as a teen-ager. His music, pleasing to the ear and deft in its use of the orchestra, won him acclaim throughout Europe during his lifetime but also gained him a reputation as the most conservative of the Romantics. As a conductor, Mendelssohn was responsible for the revival of Bach's music in the 19th century, and many of his later works - the oratorio St. Paul and the "Hymn of Praise" Symphony (No. 2) among them - owe much to the Baroque master.
Octet for Strings (1825)
Marlboro Festival Ensemble (Sony)
Overture to A Midsummer Night's Dream (1826)
London Symphony, André Previn (EMI)